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China’s Economic Development In Historical Perspective

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Chapter Summary

Most of the economic studies on China in the past two decades concentrate on the changes since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Discussions of pre-1949 economic development usually begin with the opening of China to international trade in the mid-nineteenth century. Robert Dernberger challenges the view that foreign economic activity worked to retard China's economic development. The Chinese Revolution has been undoubtedly the most influential force in shaping China's economic development since 1949. Peter Schran's essay shows that policies followed in the 1950S and the 1960s were much influenced by the Yenan experience. Indeed such policies as self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and the de-emphasis of material incentives were first used in Yenan's isolated guerrilla economy in the 1930s and 1940s. Some papers in this volume attempt to bring continuity to the study of Modern China by identifying links between China's past and its present.

Keywords: China's economic development; Chinese revolution; economic base; international trade; People's Republic



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